£2m to bring sharper edge to glass company

A French company has invested £2 million in a city window factory, sealing the plant's long-term future and helping to safeguard up to 270 jobs.

Solaglas, which has been based in Coventry since 1928 and moved to its current Binley site 35 years ago, employs a total of 270 people in the city, including 140 at its double glazing factory in Herald Way.Solaglas is a subsidiary of industrial giant Saint-Gobain, which released details of the investment yesterday, having already ploughed £1 million into the firm over the past two years.Money is being spent on redesigning the double-glazed unit factory to improve efficiency, bring in new glass cutting tables, upgrade equipment and broaden the factory's product range.Solaglas's regional general manager, David Danger, said: "We operate in a challenging and rapidly developing market, and this plan will secure the future of the business in Coventry and the jobs of those that work at the site."The Binley site has seen major improvements in quality and service over the last 12 months.

"The quality of the production team, together with their ability to develop flexible working practices, was a key factor in securing this investment." Nationally, Solaglas has a turnover of £160million, and 2,000 employees, and its headquarters is in Binley.

Other Solaglas sites in Binley include a curtain walling design, fabrication and installation business with a turnover of £8 million and a structural glass design and installation business with a turnover of £5 million.

The investment project will start during this month, with completion scheduled for the end of June 2005.

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